An Interview with Simon Wright of ACϟDC & Dio

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Simon Wright’s journey to Rock ‘N’ Roll immortality began from a young age, as a teenager playing local Manchester, and London bands A II Z, and Tytan.

At the age of twenty, Simon Wright landed the gig of a lifetime, with ACϟDC, replacing longtime drummer Phil Rudd. Wright quickly learned that while sitting behind the drumkit for the Australian rockers may have seemed simple, in actuality, it took countless hours of dedication, and schooling to get it just right.

After joining the band for the Flick Of The Switch tour, Wright went on to record three records with ACϟDC in Fly On The Wall (1985), Who Made Who (1986), and Blow Up Your Video (1988), before departing the band due to creative differences, in 1989.

As the 90s dawned, and as still a young man in his twenties, Wright hooked on with Dio and replaced Vinny Appice just as the sessions for what would become Lock Up The Wolves (1990) were to begin, ushering in a new era for both Ronnie James Dio and his music.

As the 90s wore on, Wright worked with the likes of John Norum, and UFO, before eventually making his way back to Dio’s band, where he held down the drum spot for fourteen additional years, and recorded five additional standout albums, with the run ultimately coming to end after the death of Ronnie James Dio, 2010.

In this career-spanning interview, among other things, I catch up with legendary Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal sticksman, Simon Wright, regarding his career with ACϟDC, Dio, UFO, Queensryche, and a whole lot more.

Andrew:
Thanks for taking the time with us today. How are you, Simon?

Simon:
Oh, not too bad. I did a Comic-Con just up in Bakersfield here in California, about a month ago. That was fun meeting everybody, and the lots of characters in the Comic-Con. Before that, I was I did one of those Rock cruises. It was like a nine-day cruise, and that was cool.

Andrew:
As a young musician, what got you interested in the drums?

Simon:
I just saw it as a kid, you know, on TV. There was a program called Top Of The Pops in England, and it was probably the only outlet for any kind of music, whether it be Punk, Reggae, Disco, or Heavy Metal. I saw that, and I was just like, “That looks pretty cool.” I think I kind of honed in on the drummer’s, and I was kind of like, “That looks really cool.” Next, I was tapping away on furniture in the house, and I felt I had some kind of rhythm going on. So, you know, my dad broke down and got me a beat-up old Olympic drum kit. I fixed that up, and basically, I just kept going with it. I’d come home from school, and I’d sit in my bedroom with headphones on playing, trying to play along to all different kinds of music. I just was very persistent, and I enjoyed it too.

Andrew:
Take me through your early years prior to joining ACϟDC
.

Simon:
I moved down from Manchester, and there were a couple of Manchester bands, and I was at one called A to Z. This was before Titan, and we went we recorded a 45. Remember those?! [Laughs]. So, we did that and you know, they’d already been on the road with Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. Now, there was a company that was backing them quite well, and when I joined up, we went out on the road and opened up for an all-girl band called Girl School. I must have been around sixteen at the time. So, we went around England, and that was cool, but the band just kind of fell apart. There were arguments, not with me, but you know, with the brothers, and stuff, and it all just fell apart.

So, then, I moved down to London, and I was looking for work. I came across Tytan and heard them. I met Kevin Riddles, who is still in Tytan, it’s still his band, they’re still going to this day. So, anyway, they were in the studio recording an album, and I heard some of it and I thought, “Wow, that’s really cool.” I knew some of the guys before Tytan, then they were called Angel Witch, which was a great new wave of British Heavy Metal band. So, they were in the middle of finishing up this album, and Dave Dufort was drumming on it, but they needed to do another two tracks, and Dave had finished up his session and left the band. So, they asked me to come in and do it, and then, I joined the band. The problem was, it was a fantastic album, really well done, great singing, and great, great songs, but the problem was that they didn’t have a booking agent, so I think we did like one show in a year. So, that that kind of just fell to the wayside.

Now, I was in London still, like I said, and a friend of mine noticed an advertisement in the classified section at the back of a music paper called Sounds. And that’s when I answered that, and I got a huge break in joining ACϟDC.

Andrew:
You’re twenty years old, and you’re joining ACϟDC, who is coming off the heels of Highway To Hell, Back In Black, and For Those About To Rock. Take me through joining ACϟDC at that time. That had to have been a culture shock.

Simon:
It was. I mean…I was really shocked when I went for the audition. I had no idea it was ACϟDC. I didn’t even know they were looking for a drummer, to be honest with you. You know, I was just playing with the drum tech, did the audition, I went back, and then I met the band. They were just really down-to-earth and so unstarish. I was just a kid. I didn’t know, shit from Shinola, but it was a bit of a whirlwind. I moved into a new apartment, then I had money, but I didn’t have any big plans or anything because I was so young. I just wanted to play, I wanted to do a gig with this band, and learn all the songs, and rehearse, and stuff. I knew a lot of the songs from the past because I loved ACϟDC. So, yeah, it was a bit of a whirlwind, but they were cool and pretty grounded, so it wasn’t as mind-blowing as you would think for such a young man.

Andrew:
You came in replacing Phil Rudd. Now, Phil’s got a style, he’s not flamboyant but it’s a style that is the bedrock of that band. What was it like adapting to such an established mold?

Simon:
Well, I hadn’t done much before I got into ACϟDC. I had toured, and stuff, but as far as recording, I hadn’t done a lot of it. So, when I got the gig, I thought to myself, “Well, okay, that’s the music. That’s the way. That’s that formula with Phil,” it’s pretty straightforward, you can’t really jump all over that. I mean, I just pretty much copied what Phil had done. It was a bit baffling at first with some of the songs because I hadn’t realized it, but with Phil’s playing, it’s the bedrock, ACϟDC is all about the swing of the song, the groove, and stuff, which is Phil. I tried to do my best to emulate Phil with total respect, you know?

I kind of epiphany, I’m listening to “Back In Black,” and I’m thinking, “I know the song. No problem.”
As easy as people say it is, the way Phil plays it is tougher than people think. In the beginning, the verses are one speed, and he gets up to the chorus and it’s never the same speed. It’s the same with a song like, “You Shook Me All Night Long,” you’ll notice that it’s not just one speed, but you know, I hadn’t realized that. So, I wasn’t, I wasn’t happy with the way I was playing those songs, I was like, “What the fuck am I doing wrong?” So, I just sat with them for a little bit, tapping away and stuff, and you know, a lot of the shows that we did they like the songs up in tempo anyway, a bit more fire going on. I had to take a lot more than you would think into account, but it all worked out.

Andrew:
Phil recorded the drums for Flick Of The Switch and you then hopped aboard for the tour. Paint a picture of your first gig with ACϟDC.

Simon:
I believe it was Calgary, in Canada, a place called The Saddledome, and it was just business as usual. I mean, we traveled obviously, but they’re like a family or a gang, and there’s no crazy stuff going on. I was obviously a little bit nervous, but they were just like, “Let’s get this done so we can have some beer and stuff.” [Laughs]. I do remember standing there waiting to go on, and Angus [Young] said, “When the lights go down, it’s going to get really loud,” and he wasn’t wrong. I mean, you just get down to it and get working, and playing. We hit all our marks and stuff because they were great at gigging anyway. We didn’t have any hitches or anything. It went really well.

Andrew:
Your first album with ACϟDC was Fly On The Wall, which is an underrated record. It’s a bit different sonically, and I’ve heard people describe it as “ACϟDC’s Glam Rock record,” but I don’t know if I can agree with that. Take me through the recording of that record.

Simon:
It was recorded in Switzerland. It was beautiful, just stunning. We went in and rehearsed the songs and ran them down and stuff. I think there was one or two that we needed to work out a little bit in the studio. I mean, that live room was enormous. It was this huge round building. It was great. That was the thing about that band, it was just like, “Let’s play.” They don’t try experimenting with anything, they’re just straightforward Rock ‘N’ Roll. So, we just played, and I remember that there was this really long staircase, almost like one of those fire staircases outside of the building, but it was on the inside, and you had to go all the way up there to get to the control room, which was up high. We would put down a few tunes before we had to traipse all the way up the stairs to get to the control room and have a listen. [Laughs]. It went well. It was all good.

And the album…it’s it seems to have gotten a life of its own afterward, you know, after the fact. A lot of people tell me it’s one of their favorite ACϟDC albums. And I’m like, “Well, obviously, you haven’t heard Back In Black.” [Laughs]. I think I’ve said it before, but I think because they have such a dense catalog of brilliant material, people probably get a little stuck on Back In Black, and then they delve back into the catalog…there are so many other great albums in. I’m not sure exactly why, but people seem to like Fly On The Wall. They seem to come back to it.

Andrew:
I think retrospectively, it’s considered a very good album. It was a little different production-wise, and at that point, Hair Metal was settling in, and ACϟDC has never been one to adapt to the trend. I’d say they ride the trend out if anything.

Simon:
You know, they couldn’t keep doing Back In Black. Again, I mean, no band can strike that kind of gold every single time, it’s just how things work out.

Andrew:
I would agree. So, the band recorded Who Made Who and then Blow Up Your Video and a lot of people felt that was a return to form. You guys went out on tour, which we know wasn’t the easiest for the band as Malcolm [Young] was going through some things, and Stevie Young hopped in there. Take me through the state of the band that time.

Simon:
Well, we recorded Blow Up Your Video, everybody was up, and it was there were no problems. We felt that record was so good. And it came out…we started touring and everything seemed fine, you know? But I want to say about halfway through, Malcolm started drinking. He had problems at home with his son and stuff, all these health issues, and it was awful. We did one show…I think it was in France in an open-air place, and Malcolm got really drunk. I’ve never seen him get drunk on stage, but he was like hanging off the cymbal stands, and trying to pull them over — it was bizarre. So, we managed to get through that gig, and we all walk to the edge of the stage, and at the bottom of the steps going down Malcolm and in fisticuffs at the bottom, you know, just balls of legs and arms going off. It was like, “What the hell is going on here?” So, we had to sit down talk and Mal was really, really upset about things, and he just couldn’t carry on, and he had to do to stop being on the road and go home. Thankfully, he got better and he got his son doing fine again. In the interim Stevie [Young] came in, and he just slid right in. I mean, Stevie plays a lot like Mal — he’s not Mal — but plays a lot like him. He knew what the gig needed. He came in, and was a great guy, and did a fantastic, brilliant job. Stevie left everything out there when we needed him. And he’s doing it now too, but I mean…he’s family, so he gets it. It’s such a damn shame about Mal…such a horrible disease that took him.

Andrew:
Ultimately, what prompted your decision to move on from ACϟDC?

Simon:
I just wanted to play more, you know? It’s a kind of a regimented style of playing with them. I found myself playing more when I was at home. I had a kid at home, and I’m just banging away to anything, and it really started to eat at me. I mean, I knew I could…I’m not saying I could play better. I just wanted to play more, you know? I wanted more fills, so it started to eat away at me. I love drumming, and it wasn’t the money or anything like that, I was doing okay with the money. I didn’t care about the money. I just needed to getaway. So, I managed to jump off the ship, and I met with Ronnie James Dio, and thankfully, there wasn’t a big period of downtime for me. He was getting ready to record another album, which ended up being Lock Up The Wolves. So, yeah, it was a creative thing.

With ACϟDC, it was restricted. I have total respect for Phil, and the band, and everything they do. It’s got nothing to do with the music side of it. It’s just me personally. It sounds crazy, but, I just needed to get away, and do something else. I was lucky enough to meet with Ronnie, and I’d loved Ronnie with Rainbow, and Sabbath, and stuff. Ever since I heard his voice, I thought, “Oh my god, what a singer, and songwriter as well.” It was just incredible, my ex-wife at the time, who is passed away now, knew Wendy, Ronnie’s manager, so we kind of did some back and forth. I met Ronnie on a couple of occasions. We talked, and they like the idea, we hooked up in rehearsal, and I got the gig, and we did the album.

Andrew:
I think your style, your versatility, and your ability cater to the music of Dio perhaps more so than that of ACϟDC. Did you feel more comfortable taking the place of Vinny Appice than you did coming in after Phil Rudd in ACϟDC?

Simon:
Well, as I said, the freedom on the drums really appealed to me. I was a little hesitant at first because, with Vinny’s stuff, you can’t just pick it up, but I tried to be respectful to his playing. I would always try…besides the new songs we had, that I played on, I mean, we would do all the older stuff too…I just held them with high respect in regards to Vinny’s playing. I tried to keep the drum parts as true as I could. I put my own little spin on some of them, and Ronnie seemed to enjoy himself, and I felt it worked. By that I mean, I was keeping the integrity of the drums on the songs, and I wasn’t spoiling the songs which I would never do. So, it worked out when we played live.

Andrew:
What was the biggest difference in recording Lock Up The Wolves with Dio as opposed to working previously with the Young brothers?

Simon:
Well, Ronnie, just kind of left it to us. We set up the drums and all of it was in a place called Granny’s House, in Reno, Nevada. It was a fantastic studio, but he kind of left it to me to set the kit up, and get the sounds, and then he would come in and listen. The first time we did that, he looked and went, “No, no, no, that’s not gonna work,” because the drum kit was basically on a small riser, and it was just kind of dead sounding. Obviously, you put reverb on it in the room, but in the control room, he went, “No, no, no, we need it bigger.” So, we ended up with a four-foot drum riser, with baffles all around, with aluminum on them. We actually made the baffles. We put out some plywood and put the baffles up, and there were like these aluminum baffles, which made the drum sound come to life. Ronnie was right because the drum sound we started with was more along the lines of Highway To Hell, just try not to do too much reverb and stuff. Everything went great. It was a whole new band for Ronnie, everybody was new. We all got along great. I mean, we were still feeling each other out a little bit, and stuff, but you know, it didn’t take very long to turn into a really good band.

Andrew:
Dio was sort of the opposite of ACϟDC in that he wasn’t regimented, and he had this amazing rotation of incredible players. What was that experience like?


Simon:
Well, I remember one time that it was just me and Ronnie in the band. [Laughs]. People would ask what sort of guy he was. They would ask why so many people leave. I mean, Ronnie seemed like such an easy guy to work with, why couldn’t he keep people? He could be a little hard to work with sometimes. He had a temper and stuff, but he had all that responsibility, so, the funny thing is, with all the comings and goings, it was never that people were having arguments, or were pissed off, they kind of fell by the wayside. If it wasn’t for health issues or something, or they got another gig. I mean, it was refreshing for sure.

Andrew:
After Lock Up The Wolves, Dio hooked back up with Vinny Appice, and they did the Sabbath reunion. Is that what ended your first run with Dio?

Simon:
Ronnie got an invite to go back, and he took it. Who can blame him? None of us certainly did. So, yeah, I moved on. So, in the mid-90s, I got a call to work with Michael Schenker. So, I get to it, doing what I do, banging away at it, and then pretty much got it down and stuff. And then, you know, the weeks went by, and I heard nothing from nobody, and it’s about six weeks later, and they called me back and said, “Simon, things have changed. It’s not Michael Schenker Group anymore, it’s UFO. Are you interested?”“Yeah, of course. I’m interested!” I loved UFO, and I knew Strangers In The Night frontwards, and backward when I was a kid. So, yeah, I was excited. I thought that was amazing. We hooked up, and I drove up to Phoenix in Arizona, with all my gear and stuff, and they were all just at a hotel, and they were just so easy to get on with straight away. I mean, it was instant, you know? It was no messing around. And that was a great band to be in, very eccentric, and completely crazy…out there.

Andrew:
Also, in the 90s, you did an album with John Norham of Europe called Worlds Away. How did that end up happening?

Simon:
Well, I got to know John, because John would come to a lot of the European UFO shows. I forget which year because he loved Michaels’s playing, and he knew Michael [Schenker]. So, I got to talking to Johnny, who is a really nice guy, and a superb guitar player. He told me that he was setting up to do another solo album, I think he’d done two, so he was looking to do a third one. So, he asked me if I’d like to do it, and I said, “I’d love to do it. That sounds amazing.” I heard the material, which sounded really strong. He brought in another friend of his, Peter Baltus, from Accept, on bass. I’d always liked Accept, so to play with Peter just really worked out great. I enjoyed doing that album.

Andrew:
How did the lines of communication with Dio open back up again in the late 90s?

Simon:
Well, again, it was Dio’s manager, Wendy, talking with my ex-wife, and she had mentioned that Vinny was unhappy or something, and she said, “Call Ronnie.” So, I call Ronnie, and I said, “Listen, if you need some help, Ronnie, I would love to carry on with what we were doing because it did feel like a little bit of unfinished business,” because the Lock Up The Wolves era group at that time was really getting tight, and confident, so, I said, “You know, I’d love to come back and help out.” They had already started a tour, and they had so many dates ahead, and Vinny wanted out for some reason, and I’m not exactly sure why. So, I drove up to Bakersfield, and I joined up with the tour, and we went from there.

When I got there, there were a couple of days off for me, and they’d already done three or four shows, and they had a few more scheduled with Vinny. I watched the shows, and Vinny was playing, and Ronnie would always change things up in the set with different songs, he would have different endings and different ways of doing things. So, I watched the shows, and just tried to take it all in. Then Vinny left, and we had a couple of days of rehearsal up in San Francisco. It took a couple of days rehearsing, and then we were up and running again. I was back in the band again, and that lasted nearly fourteen years.

Andrew:
You were with him right until the end it seems.

Simon:
Yeah. I mean, we were having a great run, and that kind of slowed down a little bit. You couldn’t run it at that pace forever, but he kept in touch. And I was in his house looking after his house when he was on the road with Heaven And Hell, looking after the animals and stuff. But Ronnie would always say, “You know, when I come back from Heaven And Hell, we’ll go out and do Dio.” And before he had to stop, we had a tight band, there was me, Doug Aldrich, Rudy Sarzo, and Ronnie. We were going to go out on a three-month tour of England, and Europe, so we were rehearsing for that, and that’s when things kind of went a little bit strange…he went to the doctors because he hadn’t been feeling well, but it was that kind of thing where he would just put up with it, he thought it’d just go away. So, Ronnie goes to the doctor and he got looked at, he came back to rehearsals, told us about the diagnosis, and went home. So, that was a pretty fucking horrible day. Ronnie went down to the wire. He played as long as he physically could. He was such a strong character, even if he felt awful, he was gonna keep going.

Andrew:
The initial 80s lineup of Ronnie James Dio, Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain, and Vinny Appice is justifiably revered. That said, your era was formidable if not underrated in its own right. Looking back, how do you view your time recording, and touring with Ronnie James Dio?

Simon:
Oh, yeah, I mean, well, he’s influenced all of Metal. I mean, when Rainbow first came along…what a find for Richie Blackmore. You’ve got the first Rainbow album, and then you’ve got Rainbow Rising. Then he moved on to do Black Sabbath, who were in the doldrums, and he just created Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules, and that turned everything around, and then he created Dio. And like you say, that classic lineup that made Holy Diver, and Last In Line — phenomenal, groundbreaking stuff. I had never heard anything like that. I mean, there were similarities to other bands a little bit, but every song was a winner and absolutely brilliant. So, a singer that comes along, and has that effect with three bands…that’s the kind of power, songwriting, and singing that transcends, and it’s what Ronnie had. To change three bands like that, and the genre response — crazy.

As a person…as I said before, Ronnie could get angry, he was an Italian, and he didn’t take shit from anybody. [Laughs]. But he could be extremely funny, had a dry sense of humor, and he loved practical jokes. He was also a caring person, he really was with his family and stuff. He loved animals, and was an all-around great guy, honestly. There were some astounding qualities about him — his memory — he would remember all types of people, their names, and situations, he had an amazing memory. He was a workaholic, too, which I enjoyed because it was all about the music all the time. He loved sports too. So, yeah, it’s just a real shame. I think about him a lot. With Ronnie, they broke the mold.

Andrew:
After the passing of Ronnie James Dio, you moved on to play with Jeff Tate in his version of Queensryche. How did you get in touch with Jeff?

Simon:
Rudy Sarzo got a hold of me. They had started this new version of Queensryche, and Bobby Blitzer was playing drums, and then for some reason, he wasn’t going to be involved anymore. So, anyway, Rudy called up and he said, “Would you be interested?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.” I mean, behind the scenes I was like, “Oh, Christ, what did I just do?” Because some of that music can be different, and complex, and it needs to be figured out. So, after that conversation, Rudy said, “Jeff will give you a quick call.” So, Jeff [Tate] called up and said, “So, you’re gonna be okay?” And I’m like, “Well, yeah, I can figure it out.” So, I sat at home and went through Operation Mindcrime, because that was the album that we were going to do on tour. I managed to figure it out at home and then we went up to Seattle to rehearse, and we’re rehearsing in this really small room with one light, and there was mud in there and all the crap I’ve got, and keyboards, bass gear — it was just crazy. We were all jammed in there together, and I couldn’t figure out why, but anyway, we managed to get it down. So, we got to get on the road, and it was great. It was a great family atmosphere and we all got along great. I did that for about four years, or something like that. We were on the road for quite a while. It was good.

Andrew:
As we all know, around that time, ACϟDC was on the road, and they’re having trouble with Phil Rudd. At some point, as we know, Chris Slade returned. Did they ever call you? Was there ever a conversation about you filling in?

Simon:
I didn’t hear from them at all. They knew how to get in touch with me, but they didn’t call, and I wasn’t expecting a call, in all honesty. I didn’t pursue it. Chris [Slade] had been in the band after me, and he was knocking around. It had been such a long time since I’d been involved. A friend of mine does the lights for ACϟDC, and he invited me back to see them, and I wasn’t in a frame of mind to go through that again, but I got convinced to go. I was just going to go to the show, and I was going to leave, but then he convinced me to go back, and say, “Hello.” So, I went back, and I chatted with Mal, Angus, Cliff, and Brian and it was fine. There was no animosity about anything. It was great to see them. And they sounded amazing. They still do.

Andrew:
Black Ice was Malcolm’s last stand, and ultimately, we lost him a few years back. Having been in ACϟDC with him for a few years, what are your thoughts on Malcolm Young the person, and the musician?

Simon:
Malcolm Young was the best rhythm guitar player on the planet. I’ve played with other guitar players, but it’s just the way he would lock in with you. He was just like a machine, but man he would swing. I remember the sounds that would come out of his guitar monitor, and his rhythm guitar sound was insane. He would put a small cabinet which he was playing through by the side of my floor tom, so I could hear it, and it was just like, “Oh, God, that’s tough. That’s the shit.” He was really amazing. He was a brilliant rhythm guitar player and a really decent guy.

Andrew:
I wanted to touch on Operation: Mindcrime. Take me through that, if you can.

Simon:
Oh, I haven’t been involved with that for quite a number of years now. It just kept changing so much. I didn’t mind, but Jeff [Tate] wanted like a couple of drummers playing on the album’s, but I did most of the touring. So, there was a couple of weeks here and there, where I couldn’t do it. Yeah, it was good. I mean, it just seemed a little bit cut up for me with the songs and stuff. All but brilliant songs, a great concept, everything like that, but after a while, it was like, “You know…I just don’t know.” We did the trilogy of albums, and I just wasn’t into it anymore. It just didn’t have the excitement that the Queensryche stuff had. It was great playing with the guys, and we went through a bunch of different bass players. No hard feelings. I spoke to Jeff about two weeks ago. So, we’re all good.

Andrew;
What’s next for you, Simon? I assume you’re still playing. Do you have anything new on your docket?

Simon:
Well, with the COVID thing, bands are stopping if someone gets sick. You can’t go full-on. Next year in March, it’s been planned that we’re doing a Dio tour using a hologram. Actually, I don’t know if next year is going to be with the hologram, or if it will be with the LED screens that we had up there, like a huge wall of LED screens. So, we’ll be celebrating Ronnie with different pictures and commentary, and stuff from Ronnie. So, we’re out there hopefully next March doing shows, but not sure exactly what it’s going to be called. The hologram was called “Dio Returns.” So, we’ll have to wait and see about that, but that’s the plan anyway, to go out next year.

This last year, I’ve managed to do a couple of albums with some friends of mine. A friend, Stuart Smith, called up, he has a band called “Heaven And Earth,” and he asked me to record an album with them that came out on Frontier Records. A couple of weeks after that, my other friend Kevin has a band called Of Gods And Monsters,” and they were doing an album, so I did that as well. That’s still waiting to be mixed. That was quite a while ago, but hopefully, it’ll get mixed by the end of this year, or at least early next year. Maybe I’ll do some shows with those guys. But yeah, Dio Returns, or whatever it’s going to be called should be next year, that’s the main focus.

Andrew:
Alright, so you’ve got a lot of great things on tap for 2022.

Simon:
Hopefully, as I say, it’s difficult because people get sick and then, they have to stop touring. No matter how careful you are, there’s always that chance you can get sick. That’s the way things go. It sucks.

Andrew:
Simon, you’ve had an interesting journey breaking in at twenty, and you’ve grown up as a drummer through these huge gigs over the years. Looking back on your career, what are a few moments that stand out most to you? One’s that perhaps have defined you as a drummer in terms of your style, and your career as a whole?

Simon:
Well, there are a couple of good moments with ACϟDC. You know, the three albums I did and then hitting the road with them. I remember an especially gratifying time was with Ronnie James Dio, I was with Craig [Goldy], and where we were helping him write an album in his studio at home. Those were really good times with Dio because it was just so creative. It was very creative to be in that band, to fiddle around with a riff, and I’d go out, do my thing, and then come back, and Ronnie would have these enormous riffs that they’d just created, so there were moments like that.

Then some of the live shows with Ronnie, when he got a Lifetime Achievement Award, that was a really special night to see all that, you know, the love for him. It was just great. And then obviously, with ACϟDC, there was when we played Rock In Rio, and there was…I don’t know, a million people there, that was incredible. Playing with UFO in Chicago. We did five nights sold out, that was quite a thrill. I always loved Strangers In The Night, the double live album, which starts, “Hello Chicago!” So, we had that going on, and I’m sitting there like, “Wow, I’m really in Chicago with UFO.” It’s just amazing, you know? So, I’ve been very lucky, and very fortunate. I can’t complain. I’m still working. I’m still drumming. I’m not finished yet. So there you go.

Andrew:
As they say, nothing worth doing is easy, Simon.

Simon:
Absolutely, that’s very true. Very true indeed. No, it’s been great.

Interested in learning more about Simon Wright? Check out the link below:

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About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
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